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UCLA will attempt to have the ultimate say versus Arizona — and its followers


Having silenced a record-sized Arizona State scholar part wielding snarky indicators and booing its each transfer, UCLA is shifting on from the undercard of animosity to the primary occasion.

The noise figures to be extra deafening, the indicators much less PG-rated, the taunts on this almost border city pushing the borderline of fine style.

What may Arizona followers have in retailer for the Bruins one yr after they insulted seemingly each participant on the roster, scary a spitting incident involving one who didn’t even play?

An anticipated sellout crowd contained in the McKale Center and nationwide tv viewers gained’t be the one ones watching carefully Saturday.

A Pac-12 spokesman instructed The Times that the convention has been in touch with officers from Arizona and UCLA to assessment occasion administration, operations and safety planning for the sport that’s scheduled to begin at midday native time.

The checklist of uneasy events apparently doesn’t embody UCLA coach Mick Cronin. With his fifth-ranked Bruins (17-2 total, 8-0 Pac-12) amassing a 14-game profitable streak that would make the Pac-12 title race a runaway by the midpoint of convention play, Cronin didn’t checklist crowd management amongst his considerations.

“I’m not worried about that,” Cronin stated late Thursday night time after his staff held off Arizona State with a game-ending 16-2 run. “Unless they’re going to let them come out of the stands and stuff like that … last thing on my mind.”

Cronin’s qualms centered on No. 11 Arizona’s entrance line of Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo, who’re averaging a mixed 36.3 factors and 18.4 rebounds.

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“Probably the most productive tandem of big guys in America,” Cronin stated.

Arizona ahead Azuolas Tubelis takes the court docket throughout a win over Oregon State on Jan. 12.

(Amanda Loman / Associated Press)

They weren’t fairly as prolific throughout a latest stretch wherein the Wildcats (16-3, 5-3) misplaced two of three video games, however coach Tommy Lloyd gave his slumping offense a jolt Thursday by shifting Cedric Henderson Jr. into the beginning lineup whereas having Pelle Larsson come off the bench. The transfer sparked higher ball motion throughout Arizona’s 81-66 victory over USC.

A yr in the past, a play wherein Larsson and UCLA level guard Tyger Campbell bought tousled, incomes every a technical foul, appeared to accentuate Arizona followers’ animosity towards the Bruins. Those followers taunted Campbell with a “F— you, Tyger!” chant and directed a equally profane chant at taking pictures guard Johnny Juzang.

A mother or father of a Bruins participant who didn’t need to be recognized instructed The Times {that a} fan spewed verbal insults at them to the purpose the place the mother or father’s younger little one was so upset that the kid needed to be taken from the realm. The fan was ultimately eliminated by police, the mother or father stated.

After the sport, UCLA ahead Mac Etienne retaliated at jeering college students by showing to spit of their path. Etienne was cited by police for assault with intent to injure, insult or provoke earlier than finishing a diversion program to resolve the authorized case.

UCLA's Mac Etienne controls the ball during a win over Kentucky at Madison Square Garden in New York on Dec. 17.

UCLA’s Mac Etienne controls the ball throughout a win over Kentucky at Madison Square Garden in New York on Dec. 17.

(Rich Schultz / Getty Images)

The Pac-12 spokesman stated the incidents had been privately addressed with every faculty and the convention has reiterated its expectations that every one events adhere to its requirements of moral conduct and sportsmanship.

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The fan rowdiness got here on the identical day that Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa despatched a tweet allegedly displaying Campbell making a derogatory comment concerning the Wildcats whereas sitting in a timeout huddle.

“Mutual,” Kriisa wrote.

Campbell denied his phrases had been directed at Arizona.

The headband-wearing, tongue-wagging Kriisa flung the ball into the stands after Arizona accomplished its 76-66 residence victory over the Bruins, a measure of great aid after he had made solely 4 of 26 photographs (15.4%) within the groups’ first two conferences.

Near the tip of UCLA’s 75-59 victory over the Wildcats the earlier week at Pauley Pavilion, some Bruins followers had mocked Kriisa’s 0-for-12 efficiency with chants of “MVP!”

Words matter, however not almost as a lot as what occurs on the court docket. A UCLA victory Saturday might give the Bruins as a lot as a three-game lead within the convention standings, relying on the outcomes of different video games.

No matter what the followers shout, the Bruins’ play might give them the ultimate say.

“We’re just going to look at it as a game,” UCLA ahead Jaime Jaquez Jr. stated. “We’re here to play a game and that’s really it.”

Said Campbell: “It’ll be fun. We’re excited.”


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